Edge computing is one of the most important results to emerge from the rapid acceleration of digital transformation triggered by the COVID-19 response. Driven by the need to connect people and devices wherever they are, edge computing is growing. Leveraging cloud computing and breakthroughs in networking, edge computing, like all emerging trends, is causing growing pains for IT leaders. One area in particular that\u2019s getting a lot of attention is edge security.\nIDG\u2019s State of the Network survey for 2020 showed 61% of organizations are either actively researching edge computing tools or have them in production. As edge deployments proliferate, securing edge devices and networks is emerging as a top priority.\nDefining the Edge\nIDG\u2019s Eric Knorr describes the edge like this:\n\u201cPrimarily, edge computing is applied to low-latency situations where compute power must be close to the action, whether that activity is industrial\u00a0IoT\u00a0robots flinging widgets or sensors continuously taking the temperature of vaccines in production. The research firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that by 2022, 90% of industrial enterprises will employ edge computing.\u201d\nThe number one reason organizations are moving to the edge, according to IDG\u2019s State of the Network survey: speed. They\u2019re looking for reduced network latency, meaning less delay in data communications over the network. Nearly half of respondents (47%) say edge computing also can reduce operational expenses, because it reduces the need for costly bandwidth to connect locations and helps reduce data redundancy; the hope is reduced latency will also decrease cost.\nIDC\u00a0predicts that by 2025 there will be 55.7 billion connected\u00a0devices\u00a0worldwide, 75% of which will be connected to an IoT\u00a0platform. That\u2019s a lot of devices, and from a security standpoint, a lot of attack vectors.\nVulnerabilities at the edge\n"The main difference between edge security and non-edge security is around scale and distribution," says Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking, IoT and Edge for The Linux Foundation, in CSOonline.com.\u00a0"The number of applications, devices and connections that edge compute will drive require a scale that is 10 to 100 times today\u2019s deployments," he says.\nThat scale and exposure opens a Pandora\u2019s Box of threats, writes Jaikumar Vijayan in CSOonline.\n\u201cThe biggest concerns include an expanded attack surface and greater exposure to threats like\u00a0distributed denial of service (DDoS)\u00a0campaigns, data theft and leaks, third-party vulnerabilities, and intrusions into the enterprise network,\u201d he writes.\nBecause of that sheer scale, the stakes are even higher, says Scott Crawford, an analyst with 451 Research. \u201cWith edge computing, basic security mistakes like deploying systems with default passwords, or without multi-factor authentication, can have big consequences,\u201d he told CSOonline.\nA comprehensive, integrated approach to like that offered by Lumen offers a strong foundation for an edge security strategy.\n\u201cYou should expect things that sound like networking and SD-WAN and security to come integrated as a single commercial offer and a single operating model in the single pane of glass,\u201d says Chris Smith, Vice President of Platform Application Solutions with Lumen Technologies. \u201cAnd you should look for providers that can bring that all together for you and to make it simple.\u201d\nWith 3.5 million miles of ultra-low loss fiber connectivity in North America, Lumen has the scale requirement covered. Lumen\u2019s connected security platform engages adaptive networking, edge cloud architecture, and collaboration functions.\u00a0 Lumen\u2019s framework checks three key boxes identified by Frost and Sullivan:\n\nDistributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation\nWeb application firewall\nBot risk management\n\nNew Security Frameworks Emerge\nAs with any new model or trend in IT, Edge security is spawning new strategies and tactics to help organizations level the playing field.\n\u201cThe adoption of edge computing and cloud infrastructure over the past decade combined with the recent surge in remote work, have seriously challenged traditional network architectures and security models,\u201d says Lucian Constantin., senior writer at IDG\u2019s CSOonline.com.\nTwo of the most significant frameworks are Zero Trust\u00a0and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).\nImplementing Zero Trust \nAs its name implies, Zero Trust is \u201ca security concept centered on the belief that organizations should not automatically trust anything\u00a0inside\u00a0or\u00a0outside\u00a0its perimeters and instead must verify anything and everything trying to connect to its systems before granting access,\u201d according to CSOonline.\nVarious security technologies work in concert to implement a Zero Trust approach. It requires the ability to authenticate each user and device, and to ensure the device itself is properly secured. It also involves policy-based access to applications and other resources that consider a user\u2019s location and mode of access. A CFO, for example, may be able to access corporate financial applications while in the office or on a VPN from home, but not when using Wi-Fi at a coffee shop.\nThe approach makes use of technologies including multifactor authentication, identity and access management, orchestration, analytics, encryption, and more. It also adheres to the principal of \u201cleast access,\u201d meaning giving users only the level of access required to accomplish a given task.\nZero Trust is a natural for edge locations, says Dave McCarthy, VP, Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Services with IDC. \u201cIn addition to hardening edge resources from attacks, it is important to enforce encryption of data both in transit and at rest,\u201d he says. \u201cEdge requires a greater emphasis in certificate-based identity management for both users and the endpoints themselves.\u201d\nSASE combines network and security services\nZero Trust is one of the pillars on which SASE is built. According to CSO, SASE encompasses software-defined and cloud-delivered solutions that combine network-as-a-service with network-security-as-a-service functionality. And the idea is growing right along with edge adoption: Gartner expects that by 2025, over 60% of enterprises will have explicit strategies and timelines for SASE adoption encompassing user, branch, and edge access.\nSASE is likewise a natural for edge locations because it relieves companies from having to install security infrastructure and software at edge locations, most of which have no IT personnel on site. Instead, the locations can take advantage of cloud-based security solutions from a service provider.\nLumen\u2019s SASE offering, for example, includes numerous security options, from Web application firewalls (WAF) and bot management to an API protection service. Lumen also has one of the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) deployments in the world and enables customers to manage all security solutions from a single platform. \u00a0With one of the largest DDoS mitigation deployments in the industry, Lumen owns DDoS mitigation at scale. Lumen DDoS Mitigation Service delivers on-demand and always-on mitigation options with advanced features like intelligent scrubbing to help reduce latency and improve performance and one flat monthly service rate regardless of size, length or frequency of attacks.\n\u201cWe are all focused on SASE,\u201d says Lumen\u2019s Smith, \u201cwhich is bringing together numbers of different use cases, whether it\u2019s software-based networking or SD-WAN or different security capabilities. And we are bringing them together into a single commercial offer, into a single operating model, and on the cloud edge in a better experience.\u201d\nAlong with network and security solutions, Lumen also offers all the compute and storage resources you need for successful, low-latency edge implementations. To learn more, visit: www.lumen.com\/edge.